Our students completed their Winter 2017 residency on January 13th, 2017. The 10-day residency began in Incline Village with the arrival of 13 students and 9 Visiting Faculty. The roster for this residency included Julie Weitz, Rob Reynolds, Dan Ruby, Bill Fox, Maria Sykes, Jared Stanley, and Russell Dudley.
For this year’s Midway Exhibition, in the midst of an intense Pacific storm system, the program created three outdoor spaces for students at the half-way mark to install their work outside. Large canvas exhibition tents allowed students to create public venues in conversation with the environment of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and, as luck would have it, an incredible mountain snowstorm. The intensity of the winter weather, issues of the natural environment of the Tahoe Region collided with a diverse set of studio and social practices present among faculty and students alike. The result created a wide-ranging exhibition with conversations between artists and spaces running the gamut of performance and practice. The work as a whole succeeded in building tensions between expectations of place, the politics of extinction, and our stormy landscapes — personal, actual and political.
Julie Weitz engaged residency artists in lakeside performance amidst storm winds and snowfall on the beach. Rob Reynolds strong theoretical guidance brought current politics to the foreground, involving Midway artists in site-specific works that examined pseudo-science alongside simple spatial constructions that left exhibition participants to question their perception of location itself. In ten short days, fourteen artists lived, worked and created together, creating a wide-ranging public installation of completed work. During this blizzard of artistic and meteorological activity, Dan Ruby introduced the dome and planetarium as a site for artists to engage the public in ways not found often in traditional art-making programs. Maria Sykes presented the curatorial work of Green River, Utah’s Epicenter, and its ongoing artists’ residencies. Jared Stanley and Gabie Strong deconstructed performance in the context of Strong’s gallery-based practice, following her powerful in-exhibit performance.
All our residency artists found themselves engaging with one another in new practices, creating new forms, and exhibiting in new spaces, in the brilliant mix of the social and practical that is the hallmark of the SNC MFA-IA program. The program concluded with the passing of a historic storm in both metaphoric and actual terms, as our first cohort completed their final residency critique on the path to graduation. More to come: stay tuned!